Mowing Designs On Your Lawn

Q: How can I make the checkerboard designs that I see on the lawns. It isn't simply mowing in both directions is it? I'm stumped!

Hardiness Zone: 8b

Debi from Vancouver, WA

A: Debi,

"Lawn Striping" as it's known, is slightly more complicated than simply mowing in both directions, but still easy to do. To create a checkerboard design, you need a lawnmower and a roller to bend the grass. The checkerboard pattern is actually the result of the light reflecting off the grass bent by the roller. A lot of riding lawn mowers now come with full-width rollers that are attached right behind the mower blades. I use the old-fashioned reel mower on my lawn and it comes with a roller.


To make the pattern, mow the grass in side-by-side rows. First make north and south rows, and then make passes going the other direction (east and west) that intersect with the north-south rows. When you stand and look at your grass, a checkerboard pattern will appear. In areas where the grass has been bent with the roller, the sun will reflect off of the whole blade, causing it to look lighter. The grass that isn't bent will only reflect the tips and look darker. Rye grass, fescue and bluegrass varieties all accentuate the striping-as will watering the grass immediately after mowing.

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November 1, 20050 found this helpful

Yes, I believe it is. If the grass is long enough, it will "push" over each direction as you mow back and forth. When you go the second time perpendicular to it, you'll push the grass over again a different way and it'll look like a checkerboard. I think your grass has to be pretty thick and plush for this to work.

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November 2, 20050 found this helpful

I always thought it was a "roller" on the back of the mower that would push the grass over. Special attachment that I wonder if you looked on the net you could find it? Hope this helps

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November 2, 20050 found this helpful

As a teenager I worked for my local city, mowing lawns. I would make the checkerboard pattern in the outfield of the baseball field.

Start by mowing in one direction (we will use north and south). When you get the end of that path (south), move over to one side, leaving a path of unmown grass next to where you will start again and head north. Repeat until you have paths of mown and unmown grass next to each other. One path of mown grass, the next path unmown, the next path mown and so on. Now start at the east west direction. Start to mow the remaining grass by going east and west. You do not need to skip a row, just mow one path going east, and on path going west.

It dosent matter if you have lush grass or not, you will be able to see the checkerboard! Good Luck!

Sandy from MN

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April 15, 20080 found this helpful

Please send the detail design of a rotary lawn mower to my mail box sunkanmiolatunde81 AT I will be very grateful if you can do that on time. Thanks. Please, I need it for my final year project.

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